Lease Beat

Dolce & Gabbana Leases Entire 155 Mercer Street For Flagship

155 Mercer Street

Dolce & Gabbana, the fashion house known for its iconic Italian style, will open its third Manhattan outpost that will serve as the brand’s flagship store, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story.

The company has signed a lease for all four stories of the property at 155 Mercer Street between Prince and West Houston Streets in Soho, the Journal reported. Read More

Lease Beat

Bloomie’s Heading to UWS With Outlet [Updated]

Urban outfitters at 2085 Broadway (Photo: CoStar).

Say goodbye to Urban Outfitters on West 72nd Street and hello to Bloomingdale’s.

The department store has signed a 15-year lease for 24,985 square feet spanning three stories at 2085 Broadway and will take possession of the space when Urban Outfitters’ lease expires in July, a source with intimate knowledge of the deal told Commercial Observer. FedEx Office Print & Ship Center, which occupies 4,500 square feet on the ground floor in a space that once housed HMV‘s classical music section, will remain. The source suspects that price drove Urban Outfitters from the location. Read More

Lease Beat

Private Equity Firm Renews More Than 30K SF at 601 Lex

601 Lexington Avenue.

Private equity firm Apax Partners has extended its lease for 31,400 square feet at 601 Lexington Avenue between East 53rd and East 54th Streets, Commercial Observer has learned. The firm has committed to another 10 years at the Boston Properties-owned building.

Apax Partners has occupied the entire 53rd floor since 2005, according to Savills Studley, which managed the renewal. Read More

The Plan

The Plan: Valrhona Hits Sweet Spot in Dumbo

Doors already opened to a 1,600-square-foot coffee and snack bar supplying the building’s tenants and visitors with food and drink (Photo: Michael Nagle/for Commercial Observer).

Valrhona, the chocolate producer whose name is a nod to its head office location in France’s Rhône valley, relocated its U.S. office and next month officially opens l’École du Grand Chocolat, a school for professionals and enthusiasts, at 222 Water Street in Dumbo.

The 93-year-old company opened a local office in 2008 at 45 Main Street in Dumbo. But the 1,200-square-foot space had one significant deficit: no kitchen. Valrhona is well known for supporting customers with instruction and inspiration; it has training facilities at its headquarters, as well as in Tokyo and Versailles, France. Read More

The Lobby

MHP Real Estate Services Names Mark Furst Senior Managing Director

Mark Furst.

MHP Real Estate Services, which owns, leases and manages roughly six-and-a-half million square feet of office space in New York City, has named Mark Furst as a senior managing director. In his new role, Mr. Furst will do tenant representation, landlord representation and leasing.

“David [Greene] and I have been talking for a number of years and I’m excited because it’s a great platform,” said Mr. Furst of his new position. “There are great people here. I had been at my former place for 16 years, and it was a great run with great people. I just wanted to go to a little bit of a smaller shop.” Read More

Power Player

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is Meeting Change Head On

Eric Adams

If tasked with reading Eric Adams’ résumé, one might understandably feel lacking by comparison. The fourth child of six, son of a butcher and a housecleaner who called Brownsville, Brooklyn (and later Jamaica, Queens) home, he graduated first in his class with the New York Police Academy. Twenty-two years of service (and one master’s degree) later, he left as a captain to spend seven years in the State Senate, representing Brooklyn’s 20th District. In the year and a half that he’s been Brooklyn Borough President—the first African-American to fill the role—he’s been a strong champion of the affordable housing desperately needed for many of the 2.6 million people who live in Brooklyn.

New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton, who has worked with Mr. Adams in several capacities, including Superstorm Sandy relief efforts in Coney Island, describes the borough president as “a character of high moral fortitude, a rare commodity among elected officials.” Read More

Mortgage Observer

Wells Fargo Sets Defeasance Record

Wells Fargo.

With the defeasance sector heating back up, as more borrowers look to replace their CMBS loans with Treasuries to lock in low interest rates, Wells Fargo set an eyebrow-raising record last year.

The banking giant, which ranks as the nation’s largest commercial loan servicer, defeased $11.8 billion in securitized debt in 2014, equal to the amount of total defeasance throughout the U.S. the previous year, a Wells Fargo executive told Mortgage Observer. Read More

The Sit-Down

How the Walentas Family Ended Up With a $2B W’burg Project and Why Jed Calls His Dad David

Jed Walentas.

There are few names more synonymous with Brooklyn real estate (and Dumbo in particular) than Two Trees Management Company. Indeed, the company owns and manages much of Dumbo with 12 buildings comprising more than 3 million square feet of commercial and residential space. All told, the company’s holdings include more than 4 million square feet of built commercial, industrial and residential real estate throughout the United States.

Led by company founder David Walentas since 1968, Two Trees single-handedly transformed Dumbo—the acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass—from a neglected waterfront into one of the priciest mixed-use communities in the city. Read More

Sales Beat

Frenchman Buys Mixed-Use Little Italy Building for $17M

167 Mott Street (photo: CoStar).

A French investor who requested anonymity has purchased a multi-family building in Little Italy, Commercial Observer has learned. The sale closed this afternoon.

Khashy Eyn, the chief executive officer of Platinum Properties, said the buyer paid just shy of $17 million for the walk-up building at 167 Mott Street between Broome and Grand Streets. The seven-story, 17,600-square-foot rental building was erected in 1900, according to Mr. Eyn. It has 26 residential units, with a mix of free-market and rent-stabilized tenants, and two 500-square-foot retail spaces on the ground floor. One of the retail tenants signed a deal last May with an asking rent of $108 per square foot, CoStar indicates. Read More

Lease Beat

Risk Management Firm Signs Lease at 205 Lexington Avenue

205 Lexington Avenue.

Global risk management firm Lombard Risk has signed a lease for the entire 14th floor at 205 Lexington Avenue, according to a press release issued by Colliers International.

The firm will take 7,318 square feet of space at the property, which sits between East 32nd and East 33rd Streets in Kips Bay. The press release noted that the London-based company is both relocating and merging its New York office at 489 Fifth Avenue between East 41st and East 42nd Streets with its Newark, N.J. office at the new location. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Brooklyn Buyer Grabs 27 West 24th Street With Loan From Signature

27 West 24th Street.

Brooklyn-based MJ Orbach Associates purchased the Kaufman Organization’s 11-story office building at 27 West 24th Street for $92.5 million with a $52.5 million loan from Signature Bank, records filed with the city this afternoon show.

The acquisition and financing both closed on Feb. 23. The five-year debt carries an interest rate of 3.75 percent, according to the loan documents. Read More

Lease Beat

TED Moves Within Trendy Hudson Square

330 Hudson Street

TED Conferences, the company behind the viral videos that tout “ideas worth sharing,” is relocating to 330 Hudson Street, a fifth of a mile from its old office at 250 Hudson Street, according to The New York Post.

The Post reported TED will occupy 47,000 square feet on the entire 11th and 12th floors of its new home. Asking rents were $77 per square foot. The 13-year deal is a sublease from media and learning company Pearson. Richard Berzine represented Pearson, as he is the company’s exclusive real estate broker. Mr. Berzine did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Read More

Lease Beat

Manhattan Beachwear Doubles Space in Garment District

1411 Broadway

Manhattan Beachwear renewed its lease and took additional space at 1411 Broadway, according to a representative for Callahan Capital Properties, asset manager of the property for the ownership venture: The Swig Company and Ivanhoé Cambridge.

Manhattan Beachwear will move from the 32nd to the 31st floor to occupy 12,768 square feet in the next month, according to a spokeswoman for Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. Through predecessor companies it acquired, the company has been a tenant since 1985, having grown from about 3,000 square feet, said Bernard Weitzman of NGKF. Mr. Weitzman represented Manhattan Beachwear in the deal. Read More

Sales Beat

B&B Global Development Snaps Up Greenpoint Property for Record $4.8M

977 Manhattan Avenue.

B&B Global Development has purchased a three-story, 14,300-square-foot, mixed-use building in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, for $4.8 million. Despite 977 Manhattan Avenue selling for less than its latest $4.995 million asking price, Jeffrey Schleider of Miron Properties said it is a record price for a mixed-use building in that neighborhood. Mr. Schleider brokered the sale along with colleague Bram Lefevere.

B&B plans to build a 17,500-square-foot mixed-use building with 3,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor and residential condominiums above, according to Victor Baranes, the president of B&B. He said the building will be eight stories with 14 apartments. Mr. Baranes has tapped Gerald J. Caliendo Architect as the architect for the project. Read More